US Soccer has published the final report of the investigation into the behavior of former head coach Gregg Berhalter regarding a 1992 domestic incident.
The report by Alston & Bird says Rosalind and Gregg Berhalter hit each other during a fight and that their investigation “has uncovered no evidence to contradict” their accounts.
Furthermore, the report found that while Claudio and Danielle Reyna, Gio Reyna’s parents, did not engage in ‘blackmail or extortion’, the question was raised as to whether Claudio’s communications violate FIFA’s Code of Ethics.
The report says that Claudio Reyna had, ‘a pattern of periodic contact…with US Soccer officials and staff from or about 2016 through late 2022…to convey complaints and comments about US Soccer’s treatment of his children, including primarily his son, USMNT player Gio Reyna.’
This communication would have occurred while Claudio Reyna was the sports director of New York City FC and Austin FC.
An Alston & Bird investigation found that Gregg Berhalter kicked his wife in a 1992 fight
The report details that Claudio and Danielle Reyna had a phone conversation with USSF athletic director Earnie Stewart the night reports detailed Berhalter’s speech at a leadership conference in New York.
That speech included an anecdote about an unidentified player causing trouble within the team, later reported to be Gio Reyna.
According to the report, Mr. and Mrs. Reyna’s conversation with Stewart mentioned that Berhalter had physically assaulted Rosalind. Ms. Reyna said that Berhalter beat up Rosalind.
In the investigation, they discovered that in the events of January 1992, Gregg and Rosalind were 18 years old and drinking at a bar while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The couple started arguing at the bar and left, continuing their argument.
The report says that Rosalind punched Gregg in the face, after which Gregg pushed her down and kicked her twice. Gregg was accosted by a stranger, whereupon Rosalind got up and left.
Within days of the incident, Gregg and Rosalind each separately reported the incident, but did not file a police report or complaint. Rosalind also did not seek medical attention.
Gregg reported the incident to his UNC coach, Elmar Bolowich, as well as his academic advisor. She then sought counseling and chose of her own free will to do community service at a correctional facility for adolescent women in Durham, North Carolina.
Rosalind says she reported the incident to her head coach, Anson Dorrance, and did not seek medical attention, “because, she explained, she was not injured.”
The report found this to be an “isolated incident” and found “no evidence to suggest that Mr. Berhalter has engaged in similar misconduct at any other time… The interviews… lead to the conclusion that the Mr. Berhalter never assaulted Ms. Berhalter again and the investigation revealed no evidence to suggest that he committed acts of violence against another person at any time before or since.
The report added that Ms. Reyna, “also confirmed that she was not aware of any other fights or acts of alleged abuse by Mr. Berhalter” during the 30 years of their friendship.
The reports detailed a phone conversation the Reynas had with the USSF’s Earnie Stewart.
Danielle and Claudio Reyna said that Gregg Berhalter beat up his now wife Rosalind
The phone conversation came after Berhalter shared an anecdote about an unidentified player at a post-2022 FIFA World Cup conference, later revealed to be the Reynas’ son, Gio.
“Based on the facts obtained throughout the Investigation, the legal analysis conducted by Alston & Bird leads us to conclude that the fact of the 1992 Incident does not preclude an employer from hiring Mr. Berhalter,” the report said.
“Given that the 1992 Incident occurred approximately 31 years ago, and given the lack of information or any evidence that contradicts witness accounts or suggests similar conduct after that 1992 Incident, there is no basis to conclude that employing Mr. .Berhalter would create legal risks for an organization.’
The report then says that the Reynas spoke to Stewart on the night of December 11, 2022 to reveal “information about Mr. Berhalter… that Ms. Reyna had known for decades and… the information was revealed in a at which point it would be expected to discourage or otherwise influence the organization from offering a contract extension to Mr. Berhalter.’
However, despite these actions, the Alson & Bird report says they do not constitute blackmail or extortion.
‘Blackmail or extortion is the act of obtaining property by forcing or inducing a person to hand over such property by instilling in him or her the fear that if the property is not so handed over, the actor or another person will cause some kind of harm to the person ,’
‘Based on the facts gathered to date, we do not conclude that the Reynas’ actions rise to the level of or otherwise result in an extortion conviction. We obtained no information that would suggest that the Reynas demanded to receive anything of value in exchange for not disclosing information about Mr. Berhalter to others.’
Gregg Berhalter seen hugging his wife Rosalind during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
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